How to acquire Wrath (level 80) heirloom items in WoW

heirloom sword

Heirloom PvP sword - note the bound on account and gold coloured text

Heirloom Items have been one of the great innovations of the current Warcraft expansion. There are three reasons for this:

  1. They are account bound. You can pass them freely between any character on your server which is on the same account, even between horde and alliance.
  2. These items are designed for alts. Whereas a normal WoW item has fixed stats, an heirloom grows in power in proportion to the character wielding it. It will always be roughly equivalent to a good blue item of similar level, and will scale smoothly from level 1-80. Plate heirlooms even scale down to chain if the wearer is below level 40 (so that low level warriors and paladins can use them), similarly chain items scale down to leather at low level.
  3. As well as scaling with level, some of the heirloom items also give the wearer a permanent xp boost. Other games may let you buy a temporary +10% xp potion, but some heirlooms offer that bonus permanently.

Currently available heirlooms include a wide choice of weapons, chest pieces, shoulders, trinkets, and a ring. And characters can equip any heirloom of an appropriate armour type or lower (so for example, your resto shaman could use cloth heirloom shoulders).

If you can equip a new alt with heirlooms, you are not only giving it a boost but also making the levelling process much easier on yourself. No need to keep looking for a new weapon every few levels, just use an heirloom and don’t worry about it.

OK, so you are playing WoW at the moment and would like to earn some heirlooms for your alts and to help prepare for Cataclysm, how can you do that? There are three different methods for buying heirlooms – all of them will require a high level character as the buyer (at least level 70 although it will be difficult to get enough emblems, seals, shards etc before the buyer is level 80.)

A fourth method is that an heirloom ring (+5% xp) can be acquired if you win the weekly Ka’luak fishing derby. The ring cannot be gotten in any other way.

Buying Heirlooms with Emblems of Triumph (Group PvE Route)

Emblems of Triumph are the rewards given for running Wrath instances, heroics, and lower tier raids (Naxxramas, Malygos, Ulduar, and Trial of the Crusader).

  • In general, you will receive 2 emblems of triumph for completing a random (normal) instance via the dungeon finder (first instance of the day only, any random instances after that give cash and xp instead.)
  • Heroic instances give more emblems. There will be one for each boss in addition to the two awarded at instance completion (the first instance of the day will give two emblems of frost instead.)
  • Lower tier raids award one emblem per boss.
  • The weekly raid quest awards 5 emblems of triumph and 5 emblems of frost.

You can run normal Wrath instances in levelling gear. If you wish to run heroics, it would be a good idea to gear up a bit and get some practice first. This means that there is a trade-off between spending your emblems on gear that will make it easier for you to run heroics (and hence get emblems more quickly), or saving up for the heirlooms first.

To put this into perspective, you would have to run  random normal instances for 20 days to acquire enough emblems to buy an heirloom chest. You could acquire the same number of emblems from 6-8 heroics which you could run back to back in a single day, if you really wanted to (warning: I don’t actually recommend doing this).

Heirloom costs with emblems of triumph

  • Chest (+10% xp) – 40 emblems
  • Shoulders (+10% xp) – 40 emblems
  • 1 handed weapon – 40 emblems
  • 2 handed weapon – 65 emblems
  • Trinket – 50 emblems

How to buy your heirlooms with emblems of triumph

allyvendor

The heirloom vendors are located with the other emblem vendors inside the Horde or Alliance specific areas in Dalaran.  Enchanter Isian is the Alliance vendor, and Enchanter Erodin does the honours for the Horde.

allyemblem You will notice that the vendors want to be paid in emblems of heroism. But you only have emblems of triumph!

Fear not, it is possible to convert your emblems into lower tier ones (which is what emblems of heroism are), although it is mildly annoying to have to do so.

conversion

1. First go to the emblem of triumph vendor. On the very last page of items which they sell, you will see Emblem of Conquest. You can exchange emblems of triumph for emblems of conquest on a 1:1 basis. So if you want to buy an heirloom chest, first buy 40 emblems of conquest.

2. Then go to the emblem of conquest vendor. Just as above, on the very last page of items, you will see Emblem of Valor for sale which you can buy for emblems of conquest. Buy 40 (or however many) emblems of valor with your emblems of conquest.

3. Then go to the emblem of valor vendor. Again, on the last page of items that they sell emblems of heroism and each one will cost one emblem of valor. Swap your emblems of valor for emblems of heroism.

4. Now finally you can go and buy your heirlooms!!

If you also have spare emblems of frost which you’d like to use for this, you can convert them into emblems of triumph at the frost vendor in the same way. So do that first and then go to step 1, above.

Buying PvP Heirlooms with Stone Keeper’s Shards

Another way to buy heirloom items is using Stone Keeper’s Shards. These are awarded every time you kill an instance boss while your faction holds Lake Wintergrasp. They are also awarded for completing daily PvP quests in Wintergrasp.

You’ll tend to acquire these in large amounts if your faction does regularly hold Wintergrasp and you run instances, and the cost of the heirlooms reflects this. If you don’t want heirlooms, you can also buy gems and enchants with the shards.

The PvP heirloom vendor is inside the keep in Lake Wintergrasp so you can also only buy the items when your faction holds the zone.

Costs are as follows:

  • Shoulders (+10% xp) – 200 shards
  • 1 handed weapon – 200 shards
  • 2 handed weapon – 325 shards
  • trinket – 250 shards

Note: Heirloom chests are not available as PvP rewards.

Buying PvE Heirlooms with Champion’s Seals (solo PvE)

The last way of buying heirlooms involves the Argent Tournament. Before you can even access the vendor, you must have completed the Crusader achievement and also be exalted with the Silver Covenant/ Sunreaver faction. (Note: This may be very grindy and does involve lots of jousting and daily quests.)crusaderemb

Champion’s Seals are awarded by the Argent Tournament for any quests that you complete for them. This includes all the Argent Tournament dailies that you access once you are a champion for at least one faction. You can also earn Champion’s Seals by completing the Trial of the Champion instance on heroic mode. (1 seal per boss.)

The heirloom vendor is located inside the big Argent Crusade tent at the tournament, the heirlooms are identical to the PvE ones which you can buy with emblems of triumph, and costs are as follows:

  • Chest (+10% xp) – 60 seals
  • Shoulders (+10% xp) – 60 seals
  • 1 handed weapon (melee) – 60 seals
  • 1 handed weapon (caster) – 75 seals
  • 2 handed weapon – 90 seals
  • trinket –- 75 seals

The easiest way to buy heirlooms is by instancing, and then using emblems of triumph for PvE heirlooms and shards to buy PvP heirlooms (either of which will be fine if your main goal is to ease levelling).

It is very difficult to buy heirlooms before the buyer is level 80 (this has been a big criticism of the heirloom system). The only way to do so would be via daily random normal instances (2 emblems of triumph per run) — although you can also access the Argent Tournament at level 77, by the time you have done enough quests to get the Crusader title, chances are that you’ll have hit level 80 anyway.

ps. I would not be surprised to see these turning up for sale in the cash shop at some point, but Blizzard have not yet mentioned any plans to do so.

Kill the raid boss … or rescue it?

icehowl

And here we see a peacefully sleeping raid boss.

As you can see, it is tethered by all four feet and given no room to move around or stretch in its captivity at the Argent Tournament. The creature is kept in a state of constant hunger, and is periodically tortured with zapping rods (provided generously by the Kirin Tor as long as someone else uses them) to train it for its ultimate fate.

On tournament off-days, the yeti is transported into the arena and forced to fight teams of bored adventurers for the amusement of the gathered audience.

We’ve had funny fanfic before about what raid bosses do when there isn’t a raid around. But this is the first time we’ve actually been able to see it for ourselves. The Beasts of Northrend who comprise the first encounter in the Coliseum raid actually are tethered in captivity around the tournament grounds. It’s all a bit miserable.

I wish I could set them free. Maybe they’d even eat a crusader or two on their way home.

I kissed a girl (and I liked it), oh and some stuff about patch 3.2

(No, it’s not a post about guys who play lesbian night elves, I think Brad Pitt said all there is to say on that topic.)

We snuck a few more 10 man achievements from this weekend’s raids, and scheduled more time on Yogg for last night. I dreamed of green clouds afterwards, but it was an exciting raid and we’re definitely making progress. To get the Kiss and Make Up achievement, you have to blow a /kiss to Sara in Phase 2 of the fight. She will be floating above Yogg-Saron’s head.

Aside: Are evil gals always called Sara? I remember there was a Sara in LOTRO too.

I don’t have any especially helpful tips for Phase 1; it’s all about control, watching the green clouds with the eyes of a hawk, and communication between tanks. I have found it useful to put Vigilance on the other tank, for taunting adds across the room. We have experimented with individual tanks bringing their adds to the centre to be killed as opposed to one person staying in the centre and taunting adds across to them. But I think our conclusion is that it depends on the cloud formation — so sometimes we do one, and sometimes the other. I think we have that phase nailed now though, and damn if it doesn’t feel good.

I know we’d hoped to get Yogg-Saron down before patch 3.2 drops. Which looks to be tomorrow. And that gives one more night of tries, which I won’t be able to make. (Obviously it’s not the end of the world and I know we’ll still be going back for more tries, but it would have made the timing very neat.)

Being in the EU, we get our Warcraft patches one day after the US. I am still not entirely certain as to why they can’t patch on the same day but I find it an advantage to be slightly behind. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. If there’s a really bad bug with the implementation, it’ll be hotfixed before we get it.
  2. Gives the addon writers a bit of extra time to sort out their addon tweaks for the new patch before we download them (be sensible, don’t download the next patch’s addon updates before you download the actual patch!)
  3. Americans/ Rest of World also have a few hours to find and document any other minor bugs or exploits, ready for our playing pleasure the next day.
  4. If you’re interested in playing the auction house, you get a chance to see how the markets in the US realms have reacted to the new patch. If you’re quick and the US writers are helpful, you may be able to snag some last minute money making opportunities.

It’s not so great if you are an explorer type and need to do everything first. On the other hand, if you’re that into it you probably have been hitting up the test realms and know all of these things anyway.

Warrior Changes in patch 3.2

Tarsus reviews the 3.2 patch notes for warrior info – aside from some general balancing of parry and dodge values (devs noticed that dodge is rather too good value at the moment and want to keep avoidance more manageable) which affect all tanks, and block value which affects pretty much no one, the warrior changes have one thing in common.

They are all buffs, aside from the Shield Slam damage cap which was mostly to stop people slinging on a shield block set and going off to one-shot people by slamming them in PvP.

I’m looking forwards to them. Rage on block/dodge/parry will make it much easier to tank heroics in my current gear. The devastate change will make it easier to abandon the Tier 7 2-piece bonus in favour of the Tier-8 one – I still don’t have four pieces of T8 though (insert whine about warrior token never dropping). Hopefully will also result in some more damage for us while tanking. The ATT buff will certainly help with that too.

So nothing game changing but a few tweaks that do address current issues. That’s all you can really ask.

And the Argent Tournament, we knew the doubling up of quests couldn’t last

Siha adds a Part IV to her awesome Argent Tournament guide, noting changes in 3.2. No longer will you be able to double up and complete some of the valiant and champion quests by killing the same mobs. Hope you all took advantage of it while it was live. Notably, Battle before the Citadel now requires you to kill 3 Commanders. Definitely group for it.

Are you looking forwards to anything in particular about patch 3.2?

Becoming a Crusader: Guide to the Rep Grind

In order to sport the Crusader title in WoW, you need a few exalted factions and a lot of jousting under your belt. As well as becoming a champion (via the Argent Tournament) of every Horde or Alliance city faction, you must also be exalted with all of those factions and with the Argent Crusade. This will also involve picking up a few other titles along the way.

Madness, or is it?

The title is neat enough if you like such things, and in patch 3.2 there will also be some additional daily quests for people with this title, and possibly some extra rewards also. There are also extra daily quests for people who are exalted with the Sunreavers/Silver Covenant (also reps that you can get from doing Argent Tournament dailies) as well as being a champion of at least one faction.

It’s never wise to jump the gun on patch notes that are still in test (because they can change) but if you’re interested in those, like the titles, or want to do it for the challenge then step right in.

Guide to the current Argent Tournament Dailies

You can’t do better than Siha’s 3-part Tourist Guide to the Argent Tournament over at Banana Shoulders:

  • Part 1 (Introduction, Side-Quests, Aspirant phase)
  • Part 2 (Valiant phase)
  • Part 3 (Champion phase)
  • Part 4 (Updates include all the latest tweaks from patch 3.2)

How much rep from the Argent Tournament?

For reputation purposes, each quest in the valiant phase gives 250 Sunreaver/Silver Covernant rep, 250 rep for the city faction for whom you are questing, and 62 spillover rep for the other city factions.

As a general rule in WoW, when you gain reputation for one city, you will also get 25% of that reputation for the other associated cities. This is why characters started during TBC or later usually have good city reps by the time they reach level 80 – a lot of the levelling quests do give city rep, at least in the old world. Characters started before this or afterwards (i.e.. when the levelling curve was relaxed) may find that they have to work a bit harder on their reputations if they want the titles.

The Valiant phase for each city provides 4 daily quests, which have to be repeated five times before you can move on to the champion phase. So if you do the minimum amount of dailies to become a champion of every city you will receive:

  • 5000 rep for each city from directly doing Valiant quests
  • 1250 spillover rep for each other city whilst doing those dailies.

eg. Spinks does enough daily quests to become a Champion of the Undercity. She gains 5000 Undercity rep, plus 1250 rep for each other faction.

If she continues to become a champion of every city (and there are five cities for each faction), she will have earned 10000 rep for each city. 5000 for doing the valiant for that city, and 5000 from spillover from the other four city reps.

So if you are 10000 rep or less from being exalted with all your city factions when you start the Argent Tournament, you don’t need to do anything more to get your Crusader title than simply become a champion of each city in turn. In particular, don’t turn in your champion quests for writs that you don’t need (the writs can be turned in for city rep), take the cash instead.

Using Valiant Quests for Extra Rep

If you don’t have enough reputation to hit all those exalted factions just from making champion, but want to do it anyway, you’ll have to consider other options.

As long as you don’t complete your valiant stage, you can continue to take the 4 daily quests (with associated 1k rep plus 250 spillover for other cities). Keep an eye on the other city reps, you don’t want to do more dailies than you need to and the spillover might be enough to save you some extra grinding.

This may be useful for Silvermoon or Exodar rep, since they don’t offer as many reputation-bearing quests while levelling. This is particularly true for Silvermoon because one of their starting zones gives Tranquilien rep instead.

How about those Champion Quests?

Once you have become a champion of at least one faction, you also have access to four daily champion quests. These award 250 Sunreaver/ Silver Covenant reputation and 250 Argent Crusade (or Ebon Blade if you are a Death Knight) reputation each.

They also award you with a Champion Seal (which you can spend on stuff ™) and your choice of either a bag of 10g or a Champion Writ (which you can turn into any faction you have already championed for a token that grants 250 rep for that faction.)

So by doing all the Valiant and Champion dailies, you can potentially gain 1000 City rep, 2000 Sunreaver/ Silver Covenant rep, 250 spillover City rep for the other cities, 1000 Argent Crusade/ Ebon Blade rep, and your choice of an extra 10g or a token to hand in for 250 city rep. It’s a sizeable haul.

And of course you don’t have to do all the dailies. If there are some you don’t like or you don’t have time you can always skip them. There’s no special time limit in place.

Argent Tournament Side Quests

There are two daily side quests which give cash but no reputation. And then there is the Black Knight questline (not repeatable) which gives Sunreaver/ Silver Covenant rep and Argent Crusade/ Ebon Blade rep.

Once you have completed all the side quests, and become a champion for all 5 city factions, it’s very likely that you will also have maxed out Sunreaver/ Silver Covenant reputation. If not, then keep doing champion and valiant dailies until this is the case.

If you find you are behind on Argent Crusade reputation, then you also have the option of their other daily quests in Zul’Drak, or just grab a tabard and run some heroics. For the Crusade!

Hit those Low Level Quests

wow_lowquest

You can set your minimap to find available low level quests in a zone by clicking on the magnifying glass icon and selecting ‘Low Level Quests’ in the drop down list, as I’ve shown here.

Quests in the starting zones for each race give good reputation. Generally you can start doing low level quests for reputation at the first real town that the race encounters (ie. not the actual level 1 starting zone but the quest hub that you’ll hit at around level 5 or so). Low level quests don’t always grant spillover rep, but can give a large amount of specific reputation.

There are also higher level quests which give city reputation. I find that the amount of time you spend travelling probably isn’t worth it to chase these down. With one exception. Instance quests.

If you haven’t done the quests for an instance, they can provide a good hit of reputation for content that you can probably solo at level 80. In addition, you can grab a few stacks of cloth to turn in (see below).

Repeatable City Quests and Cloth Turnins

As well as the regular quests, there are some repeatable quests that you can do for city rep. Whilst these can be useful for people who want to gain reputation at low levels, they’re typically slow and laborious compared to the Argent Tournament quests.

However, one of the repeatable quests involves handing in stacks of cloth to the local representative, who will probably be near the tailoring trainer in the capital city of choice.

You can get 250 rep for handing in 60 wool cloth, 60 silk cloth, and 60 mageweave cloth (that’s 750 rep for those who are counting, with no spillover).

This unlocks the next stage where you can hand in 60 runecloth for another 250 rep.

And finally you get to the repeatable stage where you can continue to hand in 20 runecloth for 75 rep per stack (until you run out).

Buying cloth from the auction house and handing it in is the easiest way to convert gold into reputation, if you have lots of one and not enough of the other. It’s very unlikely that runecloth will be cheap enough to make it worthwhile taking the 10g from the Argent Tournament Champion quests and using it to buy cloth for turnings rather than taking the writs, but you never know.

This is wowwiki’s list of repeatable reputation quests. Knock yourself out on these if you like, but don’t say you weren’t warned. Cloth and AT dailies is the easiest way to do this.

Battleground Quests

Some battleground quests also give Horde/ Alliance reputation. In particular, the hand in quests you can do from Alterac Valley can give good reputation.

This used to be a real staple for city reputation (if you read any old guides they’ll probably recommend it), but these days people tend to rush AV so you probably won’t have time to complete even a single one of these. If you want to try anyway:

  1. Pick the quests up from the entrance to AV.
  2. Have a trinket equipped that will port you back to your home base.
  3. Loot every single enemy corpse you find as fast as you can.
  4. As soon as you have a stack of items, port back and hand them in. Hope that you can do this before the other team rushes your base.

Holiday Quests

Some holiday quests also give Horde/ Alliance reputation. If you aren’t in a hurry and were planning to do the holiday quests anyway, it’s worth bearing in mind.

Good luck, and may your cup of rep spilleth over.

3.2 – The Filler Patch

So we’re getting more information now about the next content patch for WoW , which has been named Call of the Crusade.

This would be a great name if we actually were off on a crusade, but it sounds more as though we’ll be sitting around a warcamp boozing and fighting tame bosses while our characters wait for the next actual phase of the story to occur.

I can’t really get excited about this one. But I’ll be happy to be proved wrong.

So how about that story then?

I’m increasingly frustrated at Blizzard’s ability to set up cool storylines at the beginning of the expansion and then totally fail to deliver on them. We had some great stuff going. What happened after Wrathgate? What exactly is the Lich King up to – we dealt him some kind of a blow, is he not retaliating even when we are IN HIS BACKYARD? We hunted down Mal’ganis (more than once) but where is he now? Oh, and how about Malygos? Was that it?

I had hoped that they’d drop a bit of storyline into every patch but no, it seems as though we’re off on unrelated random goose chases until they feel like dropping patch 3.3 (which is apparently going to be the Icecrown one).

I’m not mollified by pets, mounts, scads of daily quests, and making alting easier. They aren’t bad things per se but they don’t replace the game I actually enjoyed in the expansion.

Having said all this, we have been promised two new quest hubs. Question is, will they be just another ton of daily quests or may we get some cool phasing plotlines as well?

So what’s in 3.2?

From the horse’s mouth (2 new quest hubs):

A new Cult of the Damned camp now sits overlooking the Tournament grounds and spying on the activity below.

Located on an island north of Icecrown, the former tuskarr village known as Hrothgar’s Landing is a mist-shrouded staging point for Sea Vrykul raids upon the ships of the Silver Covenant and the Sunreavers in the waters between the island and Icecrown.

What could this mean for plots? Well, the Cult of the Damned are associated with the Old Gods. However, raiders have just put down Yog-Saron so it isn’t really sounding like a good time for cultists. There isn’t really much else for them to do in the game apart from worship tentacled horrors – which they have done every other time they’ve ever cropped up — so I’m not seeing where this one will lead. Maybe they’re going to try to resurrect him?

edited to add: Thanks everyone for the comments! I’m totally wrong with this and I stand corrected. The Cult of the Damned are the human branch of the Scourge so they’re good to go :)

I’m not so sure about the Sea Vrykul either. Or why they’d be making sea raids when Arthas could just send frost drakes.  I don’t entirely see why the Dalaran factions need ships anyway, they have an entire city of mages who can teleport stuff. Hoping we’ll get some semi-reasonable explanation.

Just when you thought you had seen and done it all, the Argent Tournament throws out the gauntlet once more and adds a new line of quests and rewards for players who have become exalted with either the Silver Covenant or the Sunreavers. Earn seals by participating in three additional random dailies and earn brand-new rewards.

New dailies. New tabards, mounts, pets. Yawn. I guess some people will get excited about the mounts, tabards, and pets. Not me though.

It is interesting what they’re doing with the Silver Covenant/Sunreaver reputation though. Up to now, it has been something you gained through other activities. The Argent Tournament gives reputation with those factions, for absolutely no good reason (surely the Argent Tournament should give Argent Crusade rep since they’re running it). And there’s nothing to buy with those reputations anyway.

But no, all it does is give you access to still more daily quests.

A new line of dailies and rewards for players who have earned the title of Crusader will be available with two random seal-awarding dailies.

Some rewards for people who actually enjoy grinding out faction and daily quests. It’s not for me, but I approve of the idea. Reward people by giving them more of the content which they evidently like enough to get the initial requirement.

Crusader as a title requires lots of exalted factions and suchlike. I won’t be getting that on Spinks, as an old character it’s too much hassle for me to work on those city factions. If the quests or rewards turn out to be awesome, I expect one of my newer alts has better reps.

One thing’s for sure, it’ll be a lot of rep grinding for new Death Knights.

Just when you thought you had seen the last of the Black Knight, he makes his astonishing return to the Tournament. Wait, didn’t you kill him?

This was the somewhat weak storyline that we got with the Argent Tournament. Wait, didn’t we kill him? Yes and wait, aren’t we fighting against the most powerful necromancer in the universe who happens to have his base IN THIS ZONE? This would bother me less if the very first quest I’d been given in Northrend had not sent me out to burn the bodies of casualties of war so that they couldn’t be revived as undead. How quickly we forget.

Raids and Instances

From Bornak:

    • New epic 10- and 25-player raid dungeon with five encounters, with each encounter being unlocked one week at a time
    • A more intuitive structure for harder encounters. This raid dungeon will have four different versions: 10-player, 25-player, 10-player Heroic, and 25-player Heroic, with each one using a separate lockout.
    • New 5-player dungeon with three encounters that will include Champion’s Seals as each one is defeated
    • New tier of armor and weapons that are modeled with Alliance- or Horde-specific themes

OK, minor change in how hard modes are going to work. Instead of there being something you do in the encounter to set the hard mode, you’ll actually zone into a hard mode instance. And if you really really really like this Coliseum, you could run it 4 times a week! (I’ll be in the corner, slitting my wrists.) There are also extra rewards for not wiping which may please the hardcore.

The 5 man in particular isn’t sounding very thrilling. In an astounding change of direction, instead of us running into a room and killing a boss, the boss will now run into the room where we’re standing. I’m curious as to how they’ll pitch the difficulty of this one. Will it be fairly easy so that new 80s can use it to gear up, or will they aim it at raiders who already have Ulduar gear and tons of experience?

In any case, the new tier of armour and weapons means that it’s likely going to be better than Ulduar gear. I cannot get excited about this raid instance, but maybe they’ll do something cool and blow me away.

And why is the Argent Tournament building raid instances instead of fighting the Lich King? This is just going to bug me.

Levelling Perks

Mounts become cheaper and more accessible. More heirloom gear (bind on account stuff that you can send to an alt, and that has stats which adjust to the character’s  level) will give even bigger xp bonuses.

These are all reasonable changes. People don’t have to use the heirloom gear if they don’t want to and there’s no point making newbies go through the mount cash grind that was partly designed to keep old characters busy at the level cap.

Class Tweaks

Ghostcrawler has started a series of in depth discussions on class issues recently. I think this is brilliant. As a player, I very much want to know what devs plan to do with my class. If only because it gives me the chance to swap characters if it’s going in a direction I don’t like.

We know that druids are getting some new forms, and we also now know more about upcoming shaman changes. They look to be more ‘quality of life’ issues than huge redesigns. But I’m glad to see them, and looking forwards to seeing what warriors have in store. (Whatever it is, expect a huge outcry.) I wonder if they’ll look at block in this patch or if it’ll get left for the next expansion.

Argent Tournament Public Quests?

I will be honest, I was dubious about the argent tournament. Aside from the sheer dozy headed brilliance of having a grand jousting tournament when there are evil undead necromancers to kill (I swear the argent crusade must be run by my ex-boss – yes the company went tits up), I mentally filed it under:

  • more daily quests…
  • … some of which are annoying
  • more rep grind for no special purpose
  • but it does look kind of cool to charge monsters with a lance from horseback

I also like Arthurian stories so was amused by the knights in shining armour theme to the quests. So, annoying but inoffensive time waster that would keep my interest for as long as it took me to figure out how jousting worked, and provide another new way to cover my repair bills.

Three things changed my mind today:  the quest to kill the boneguard commander (among other things), the quest to kill chillwind the frost drake, and the quest to kiss a boatload of frogs until one turns into a princess.

Yes, one of these things is not like the others, but they are all fairly irritating quests, if you do them solo. Which most people do.

Today, there were a few people doing each quest when I showed up. Some from different factions – and we all helped each other. There was no reason for it. I saw an alliance paladin killing gargoyles so that I could make a clean pull of the commander. I helped a warlock make his kill by shield breaking the opponent he was fighting. And so on. We weren’t grouped (although in some cases we could have done), but we were behaving cooperatively, not competitively.

People queued politely for chillwind and helped each other with the kills, A friendly orc whispered his frog-kissing macro to me while we pursued our amphibian dating strategies down at the duckpond.

And it make me think of the public questing from Warhammer.

I don’t really believe that Blizzard deliberately put in so many new quests that could be tackled cooperatively, I just don’t feel that they have that level of finesse. There have also been dailies before that you could help others with even when you weren’t grouped. Also, my server (being a RP-PVE one) has always tended to veer towards the cooperative rather than competitive side.

But today, quests that I used to find annoying actually made me smile. The sense of cooperating with people with whom you can’t even communicate does more to make the game feel like a massively multiplayer community than any number of solo or 5 man quests ever could.   I would love to see more genuinely cooperative content, where you gain far more from cooperating than you ever could from competing.

Instances and raids were always intended to be cooperative, and in a sense they are. But we compete for raid spots, we struggle to put groups together for instances (unless you are lucky enough to have a fixed group), and so on. It’s not the same as rolling up to a quest location, finding other people there, and being pleased to see them even if you have never met them before.

I wonder if this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

So there is more to 3.1! New mounted combat

Blues speak out about the new Argent Tournament.

OK, so patch 3.1 is finally shaping up to make some sense. This new announcement sounds as though we will have a slew of new daily quests somewhere in Icecrown (commenters on that thread think Scourgeholm and that sounds likely to me also) to help the Argent Crusade with some rebuilding.

It will lead to the construction of a Coliseum (possibly a new arena?), and there will be associated achievements, titles and the other usual suspects (pets, mounts, tabards, and so on).

Mounted combat sounds great but in practice I’m curious to know how it will work. If the mount is a vehicle then we’ll only be able to use its abilities. Could work, tank fights sound fun. If the mount is more like a regular mount then we might be able to use our own abilities but that would mean having to stand still to cast — which is not really the point of mounted combat. Or it might be that the mounts will be more like chariots, small moving platforms that you stand on so you can cast on the move.

In either case, it’ll negate a lot of the stealth and movement abilities that characters rely on in PvP so will make for a very different type of fight. Can’t stealth, intervene, or use travel form on a horse. And why exactly is the Argent Dawn wasting time building a Coliseum when there are scourge to fight? Priorities, people!

But I will forgive them a lot if I can charge people with a couched lance. On my undead horse.

Patch Notes

Patch notes are also out (in first draft at least). They will probably change a lot before the patch goes live.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was deeply disappointed at the current list of warrior changes:

  • Blood Frenzy improved to 2/4% increased damage.
  • Heroic Throw missile speed increased.

The blood frenzy change is just to bring the debuff in line with rogue changes. I’m assuming there is more to come. But it’s kind of rough to see other classes get sweeping changes and not see any of the tweaks devs were talking about for mine.

Here’s hoping that swapping specs in raids will be quick, cheap and easy.  As long as Blizzard keep designing raids to need different numbers of tanks on consecutive bosses and we continue to be poor off tanks or dps in prot spec, we’ll need the in-raid respeccing.